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Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a lentivirus (slowly replicating retrovirus) that weakens the immune system. The most advanced stage of HIV infection is Acquired Immunodefiency Syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive. Infection with HIV occurs through the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and within infected immune cells.

In 2012, the WHO estimated that approximately 35.3 million people were living with HIV. Since the first diagnosed in the 1980s, approximately 36 million have died from the disease.

HIV infects cells that help form the human immune system including T cells (specifically CD4+ T cells), macrophages, and dendritic cells. An HIV blood test can determine infection 4-6 weeks after transmission. Treatment options include antiretroviral therapy (ART), which controls viral replication within a person's body. ART allows HIV+ individuals to live healthy, productive lives.

HIV research at CERID is focused on disease pathogenesis and genetic susceptibility. For more information on the innovative work being done by CERID Investigators and Affiliates, please click the "Our Research" tab above.

Source: World Health Organization

HIV Research at CERID is focused on:

Pathogenesis

Genetic Susceptibility